Chloé ChloéOne In Other
Beginnings like “Word For Word”, a winding, epic sequence, practically without beats to hold onto and with a futurist wrapper, is what listeners need to find out that tonight is their chance to dance with the prettiest girl in the room. With its elegance, contention, and good taste in sounds, it’s easy to guess that Chloé isn’t afraid of living up to anything. And expectations ran high after “Waiting Room”, an exciting album that is still echoing today in our reptilian brain. But in this kind of situation, without putting on the pressure, the genius of the producer grows and we can really see whether the artist is made of muscle or sand. And you get the feeling, during the ten long, heady minutes of “Diva”, that the Parisian is not only willing to surpass the previous album, but she will do it with a pirouette and a final curtsy to the panel. Minimal, suggestive, full of vocal samples, layered moans, and low-speed electronic, the second cut of “One in Other” is an achievement, but it is also a risk that many would not have dared to try in a comeback with such high expectations riding on it.
This new album by Chloé, the girl with the sexy dark circles under her eyes, has the same constants that have defined her universe previously, but it also opens the doors to a world of electronic experimentation that acts as a perfect counterweight to her more stereolab flirtations. The pair consisting of “The Glow” and the sensational “One in Other” show that this Frenchwoman likes her dance floor like opium dreams: narcotic beats, sharp cliffs of ambient, whispers, exquisite sadness, and a halo of dark romanticism are the constants. She applies the same equation to “Herselves” and it works for her again. But you can’t say the same of “You”, with the irritating Chris Garneau going on and on with the spoken word. The experiment half works: the crepuscular ambient positioning is clear, but the “cultured” tone is too much; it is by far the most pretentious, and expendable, song on the album. The only stain.
In this new effort, Chloé offers us variety, but not dispersion. She goes beyond categorisations that are unidirectional. Along with pieces that are pure introspective ambient and ethereal pop, there are sounds closer to techno, always with the revolutions slowed, it must be noted. On the dance floor side, the Parisian musician also puts out chic productions. “One Ring Circus” is pure deepness, an ideal cut for starting a session and heating up the crowd, while “Fair Game” is built on distorted percussions, restless basses, nervous voice samples, sparks of IDM, and a psychedelic progression that is not recommendable for easily-impressed consumers of substances. There is even time to call in the guitars and real instrumentation. “Slow Lane” is a disturbing soundtrack, with insistent picking and retro boxes of rhythms. The most rock piece in the whole trip arrives at the last moment, a caress in indie format somewhere between Sonic Youth and Stereolab: it is a good farewell, a glint of light in an album that rolls between dark satin sheets.
“One in Other” is, definitively, a perfect soundtrack for rainy moods and clubbers who dance looking down at the floor (or like the classic says, “with tears in their eyes”). It’s not a celebration. In this album there is intimacy, there are whispers, glassy looks, contention. But Chloé doesn’t take perverse pleasure in gloom and laments. On the contrary. In fact, she prefers to avoid pouting and to make this treatise of electronic-pop-ambient into a shower of old-fashioned romanticism, although with radically futuristic packaging. Make no mistake: the album is tremendously alive, and it seems to be the perfect continuation of “Waiting Room”, not better or worse, simply necessary. Óscar Broc